WATCH ABOVE: Vermont Teddy Bear Company is causing a stir with its new line of toys tied to the erotic novel and upcoming film Fifty Shades of Grey. Jack Thurston reports.
TORONTO – The movie version of Fifty Shades of Grey is scheduled for release just before Valentine’s Day, and as companies jump on the bandwagon to cash in on the buzz surrounding it, one item in particular is causing a stir.
Released by U.S.-based Vermont Teddy Bear, the bear, which is advertised as a way to “dominate Valentine’s Day,” comes dressed in a suit and silver tie and includes a mask and handcuffs.
“With all of the trappings of a memorable gift – daring, passion, exciting next-to-skin touch – she’ll be desperate to get close,” it states on the product page.
The description concludes with the line: “She can’t help but submit to loving him.”
The bear comes with a price tag of US$89.99.
Based on the erotic novels by E.L. James, which details BDSM relationships, Fifty Shades of Grey stars Jamie Dornan as the wealthy Christian Grey and Dakota Johnson as Anastasia Steele — a young student who falls for Grey and his sexual ways.
Both the book and the film have been criticized by morality groups for “romanticizing” the violent sexual behaviour portrayed.
“Here’s a book and a movie that are really normalizing and even romanticizing BDSM relationships,” Melissa Henson of Parents Television Council told The Hollywood Reporter. “That’s very troubling, especially the way that this romance is presented in the trailer.”
WATCH: Movie trailer for Fifty Shades of Grey
The issue was thrown into the spotlight in October 2014 when CBC host Jian Ghomeshi made a statement on his Facebook page saying several women were making allegations of sexual abuse against him. He said that he had engaged in BDSM and denied any crimes were committed.
Ghomeshi has since been charged with seven counts of sexual assault and one charge of choking. He’s due back in court Feb. 4.
Fifty Shades of Grey opens in theatres Feb. 12.
SOUND OFF: What do you think of the Christian Grey teddy bear? Leave a comment below or on our Facebook page.
-with files from John R. Kennedy and Adam Frisk